Vikings Still Refuse to Fully Guarantee Kirk Cousins’ New Contract

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not sure what PR battle the Minnesota Vikings are fighting against some of their best players this offseason, but they’re losing. Every report that has come out in the last couple weeks have both Kirk Cousins, Danielle Hunter and Justin Jefferson sitting on their hands, just waiting for general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the front office to engage with them in contract negotiations.

Minnesota Vikings refuse to guarantee Kirk Cousins’ new contract?

And as we inch closer to the scouting combine, patience seems to be running short. Just days after Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) reported that the Wilfs are playing hardball with a growingly irritated Justin Jefferson, specifically related to the amount of years they’re willing to guarantee in his new contract, Albert Breer (MMQB) is reporting on Monday that the Vikings front office is doing the same thing with pending free agent quarterback, Kirk Cousins.

Because of some creative timing in his contract (his current deal voids after the deadline to tag a player is passed), Cousins can’t be franchised by the Vikings, so all he has to do to become available to the other 31 teams is, well, do nothing contractually until mid-March.

At this point, it makes the most sense for him to do that. The current Minnesota brass, now going into its third season, really likes Cousins, but it’s also been made clear that they’re not going to go contractually where the previous regime did twice, and give Cousins a fully guaranteed deal. Absent that, Cousins is now in position to hit the market like he did six years ago, this time older and, of course, more injured.

Albert Breer – MMQB (SI)

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Obviously, Albert Breer is one of the most trusted insiders in NFL media so the source of this report isn’t a question. What we don’t know, however, is how many years are on these offers he’s reporting about.

How long of a deal are we talking?

Kirk Cousins
Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

It wouldn’t be the first time, however, that reports have surfaced this offseason saying the Vikings won’t guarantee more than one year for Kirk Cousins. Kevin Siefert (ESPN) reported the same thing about three weeks ago (Jan 30).

The outcome likely will hinge on whether the Vikings are willing to give Cousins, who turns 36 in the summer, multiple fully guaranteed years in his new deal. That seems a 50-50 proposition at best.”

Kevin Siefert – ESPN

If the Minnesota Vikings are only offering two-year contracts to Kirk, it’s certainly interesting to know that they aren’t willing to guarantee both years. Without a doubt, Kirk can get two fully guaranteed years elsewhere.

I wouldn’t surprised if he can find a team that will give him three fully-guaranteed seasons, if the bidding war really got going in free agency. Maximizing term and guaranteed money on his new contract is very important to Cousins. It’s what allows him to keep control of his situation. He has said as much multiple times.

If the Vikings aren’t going to fully guarantee two seasons, they might as well shut down negotiations right now. On the contrary, if Cousins and Kwesi are discussing 3-year deals, it’s absolutely no surprise that they’re refusing to offer a fully-guaranteed salary in 2026. A 3rd fully-guaranteed year was never expected to be in the cards.

How much money are we talking?

How much will Kirk get? Breer hits on his possible floor being $30 million per season, but that infatuated teams could bid him up to $40-$45 million; all of which are projections we’ve seen before.

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What sort of price Cousins will be able to command is another question. Derek Carr and Garoppolo did pretty well on the B-level market last year, as did Geno Smith, so something like $30 million would seem to be attainable. Is $40 million or $45 million per in reach? That’s a good question, as is how far the Vikings would be willing to go to keep Cousins.

Albert Breer – MMQB (SI)

The NFL insider also went on to say that the front office touched in with Cousins’ camp last week and that talks are expected to pick up closer to the NFL combine, which teams will start to meet for in Indianapolis next week.

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